Can Dogs Die From Marijuana?

Apr 12, 2024 | Dogs & Puppies | 1 comment

Written by: Dmytro Kovalenko. ✓ Medically verified by a licensed veterinarian: Mykhailo Ozmenchuk, DVM. Explore our editorial process.

Marijuana, a commonly used recreational drug, has found its way into many households, raising concerns about its potential risks to our furry companions. While the debate surrounding the safety and legality of marijuana continues, pet owners must understand the cannabis ingestion risks to their canine friends.

Let’s understand the question of marijuana poisoning in dogs and cannabis ingestion risks and equip you with the knowledge to recognize marijuana toxicity symptoms in your four-legged companions.

Can Dogs Die From Cannabis?

Yes, dogs can potentially die from weed, but it’s rare. Marijuana toxicity in dogs is a serious concern and can lead to fatal outcomes in extreme cases. The risk largely depends on the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in marijuana, that a dog ingests and the dog’s size, age, and overall health.

“Unfortunately, we see many cases of marijuana ingestion in routine practice. Please don’t ignore and take it seriously if you are exposed to cannabis. See your vet immediately. ” – Veterinarian Mykhailo Ozmenchuk.

The Risks of Marijuana Ingestion for Dogs

Marijuana ingestion poses significant risks to dogs, and as its use becomes more widespread, pet owners must be vigilant about keeping their pets safe from accidental exposure. The effects of marijuana on dogs can vary widely, from mild discomfort to life-threatening conditions, depending on the amount ingested and the dog’s size and overall health. In some cases, severe poisoning even could lead to complications like blindness in dogs.

THC Toxicity

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, is highly toxic to dogs. Unlike humans, dogs have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains, making them more susceptible to the effects of THC. Ingestion can lead to a condition known as cannabis toxicity or marijuana poisoning. Understanding the characteristics of cannabis-induced toxicoses in pets is crucial for pet owners to recognize the signs early and seek prompt treatment.

Symptoms of Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs

Before getting down to the symptoms, know that prevention is key to avoiding the risks associated with marijuana ingestion. This includes being aware of why animals and marijuana are not a good combination and taking steps to prevent access to these substances. Symptoms of poisoning may include:

  • Lethargy or sedation
  • Uncoordinated movements or difficulty walking
  • Dilated pupils or glassy eyes
  • Vocalization or whining
  • Drooling or vomiting
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Hypersensitivity to touch or sound
  • Elevated or lowered heart rate

Long-Term Complications

While many dogs recover from marijuana toxicity with appropriate veterinary care, there can be long-term risks and complications, especially in cases of repeated exposure or severe poisoning. These might include lasting neurological effects, such as changes in behavior or responsiveness, and potential harm to the liver or other organs from the toxins processed during the incident.

If you suspect your dog has ingested marijuana, immediate action is crucial. Recognizing the signs of marijuana intoxication early can make a significant difference in the outcome for your pet.

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Preventing Marijuana Ingestion in Dogs

Prevention is key to avoiding the risks associated with marijuana ingestion. Research titled “Cannabis Poisoning in Dogs on the Rise” highlights the growing concern and underscores the importance of awareness and preventive measures among pet owners.

  • Store marijuana products securely: First things first, keep all forms of marijuana, including edibles, oils, and plants, in secure, dog-proof containers and out of reach. Dogs are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t, so be extra cautious about where you keep your stash.
  • Educate your household: It’s essential to educate yourself and those in your household about the potential dangers of marijuana for dogs. Understanding the symptoms of marijuana toxicity in dogs and being aware of the risks can help you respond quickly if an incident occurs.
  • Be cautious outdoors: Watch for and prevent your dog from investigating or consuming unknown substances during walks or outdoor activities.
  • Indoor tips: Pet-proof your space. Just as you might baby-proof your home, consider pet-proofing it. Use childproof locks on cabinets or containers where marijuana is stored. Make sure there are no accessible trash cans containing marijuana remnants. For those interested in safeguarding their pets in all aspects, exploring options for dog insurance could provide additional protection.

What to Do If Your Dog Ingests Marijuana

In recent years, there’s been an increase in cases of Marijuana poisoning in pets. If you suspect your dog has ingested marijuana, immediate action is crucial:

  1. Stay calm: Panicking can stress your dog further.
  2. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet hospital: Provide them with as much information as possible, including the amount of marijuana ingested and the time of ingestion.
  3. Follow professional advice: This may include bringing your dog in for examination and treatment or monitoring them closely at home.


The safety of our beloved pets, including dogs, is paramount. As marijuana becomes more prevalent, so does the risk of accidental exposure for our four-legged friends. To further understand the risks, pet owners can educate themselves on tick-borne diseases in dogs, which, while unrelated to marijuana, represent another significant health risk that awareness and prevention can mitigate.


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What are the lesser-known symptoms of cannabis toxicity in dogs?

While common symptoms include lethargy, disorientation, and drooling, lesser-known signs might involve urinary incontinence, low body temperature, and abnormal heart rhythms. Observing these can prompt quicker intervention, potentially saving your pet’s life.

Can the size of my dog influence the severity of weed toxicity?

Yes, size matters significantly in toxicity cases. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to severe symptoms due to their lower body weight. They can experience toxic effects from smaller amounts of cannabis compared to larger dogs.

Is secondhand smoke from marijuana harmful to dogs?

Secondhand smoke from cannabis can indeed affect dogs, potentially leading to respiratory issues and mild toxicity symptoms. It’s crucial to avoid smoking around pets to prevent these unintentional side effects.

Are certain breeds more at risk of cannabis toxicity?

There’s no scientific evidence suggesting specific breeds are more at risk. However, dogs with pre-existing health conditions, like respiratory issues, might experience more severe outcomes if exposed to cannabis.

What should I do if my dog accidentally consumes cannabis?

Don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately. Quick action can significantly mitigate the risk of severe complications. Keep details about the amount and type of cannabis consumed handy, as it will aid in treatment.


1 Comment

  1. HerbalHoundOwner

    I’ve heard about the dangers of dogs consuming marijuana

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